tv Washington Journal CSPAN July 31, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT
impact of progressive group -- groups on that debate. and "new york times" reporter catherine rampell discusses the impact of the u.s. default. "washington journal" is next. >> i think we all know that if the president decides to reach an agreement with us, the democrats, most of them, will fall in line. he is the leader of the democratic party. he is the president of united states. he needs to indicate what we will sign and we are in those discussions now. ♪ host: good morning. after months of debate and weeks of negotiations, days of press conferences, four sessions, and
news releases, there is indication on the sunday morning that congress and the president, democrats and republicans, are moving closer to an agreement to raise that stake -- the nation's debt limit. indications that there is a two- step process to increase the debt and cut spending by possibly trillions of dollars. this all remains in the work. all day on c-span, we will be following this story and getting your phone calls and comments and allow you from hearing -- to hear from key players in these negotiations. we will begin with your calls and comments. the numbers are on the screen. let's get to the basis of what the associated press is reporting on the s -- the
times." republicans have changed the terms of the national debate. also, riding on the debt negotiations, new talks made progress late saturday. sudden optimism -- here is how the story began to unfold yesterday with a commons, beginning with harry reid and that democratic leaders in the u.s. senate. >> many elements to be finalized. they're still a distance to go
before any arrangement can be completed. but we should give everyone as much possible -- as much room as possible to do their work. we need as much time as possible to reach an agreement if one can be reached. we will hold over the vote until tomorrow and then to give them more time to talk. in fact, we will come in at noon and have the vote at 1:00. i am glad to see this move toward cooperation and compromise. i hope that bears fruit. i am confident that the final agreement for a long-term approach will move forward. there can be no short-term agreement and i am optimistic that there will be no short- term arrangement whatsoever. i am also confident they're reasonable people from both parties should be able to reach an agreement and i believe we should give them time to do so. host: if you're expecting to see
that vote at 1:00 in the morning today, as you heard from harry reid, it was postponed. this headline from the "washington post." a reporter joining us on the funds from the open but congressional -- the "congressional quarterly." how close are all parties? guest: we began getting reports that senate leaders were closing in on a tentative deal. basically, as harry reid alluded to come it appears that republicans are relenting in their demand for short-term debt limit increase. the white house sounds like they will be able to extend the debt limit through 2012, one of the key demands that the president has been pushing. at the same time, it looks like democrats are willing to give on
a guarantee of long-term spending cuts. that is one of the things that republicans are looking for. a guarantee that some of the deficit reductions will happen long term. one trillion dollars up front and then i congressional committee, a new congressional committee will be formed to recommend further spending cuts, $1.8 trillion more. if congress did not enact them, some sort of automatic trigger would be set up so that there would be automatic budget cuts to ensure that the deficit did come down. how that trigger might work, those details are up in the air. it appears that the framework of the deal is now in sight. host: so many different moving parts and so many players, but it seems as if late yesterday the new key player in this was senator mitch mcconnell. who did he talk to and what changed late yesterday?
guest: true out last week, speaker boehner and the house had been pushing his two-stage debt limit increase. senator mcconnell had been backing down, saying that he would back the boehner bill. he would wait until that bill was for the system. the house passed boehner pass bill on friday, and the senate quickly move to table it. yesterday the house actually defeated a version of senator reid's alternative bill. partisan back and forth, and finally mcconnell engaged with the white house and said he was an intense talks with joe biden and president obama. a few hours later, the outlines of the deal started coming into view. mcconnell has been that key in this over the last several days. he actually proposed tobacco plant that was designed before the fall.
he has been a key player in all this. host: people in home are wondering why they could not have reached this agreement on a weaker to ago. whenever it comes to these kinds of agreements, it is always the 11th-hour. guest: congress does not work well about a town line. there is an enormous amount of posturing on this one. it did feel like last night that the outline of the deal were probably in place for a few days, at least, but both sides really felt they needed to go up to the end in showing that there respective supporters that they had really gone to the mat for them. republicans, particularly in the house, john boehner needed to show his conservatives he had gone as far as he could go to get a good deal, to get as many spending cuts as possible, and mcconnell wanted to show the
same thing. likewise on the democratic side. even yesterday morning in the senate, things looked grim publicly at least. both sides were in french. a few hours later, it look like a deal was breaking through. both sides were trying to show that they were going to the end on it. whether that pays off with people and the public, it seems to be the subject with congress right now when you look at the opinion polls. it remains to be seen. host: walk us through the next couple of hours. we know that the senate is in at noon with a bloated 1:00 the house of representatives in a pro forma session today. what are you looking for? guest: there had been no one -- 1:00 a.m. both scheduled, and now what is at 1:00 p.m..
then it can be sent over to the house. everything remains in flux right now. it could potentially pass today or early tomorrow and be sent to the house. then the question is, what enough republicans and democrats supported in the house to get to the president's desk by the end of tuesday, the deadline? august 2nd is the potential to fall scenario. host: thank you for being with us. again from that of " washington post," scrambled for a deal. and below that, that piece by paul kaine. after all the partisan bills were dismissed, the senate leader -- the senate minority leader took charge of the process. the headline from the "national
journal." the vote will take place at 1:00 this afternoon. at live coverage on the c-span network spirit we will go to lynn that joining us from ohio on the democrats' line. caller: i think this could have been reached a long time. i think this is all political. they want things to fail. teabaggers, whatever they are, they are treasonous. mcconnell is a liar. he wanted to draw obama in. he says that he was sitting on the sidelines. no, obama was there, do you remember that? they threw him out. they did not want him there. obama cannot put bills into the
republicans' hands. that is the house of representatives. the insane right will believe him and then blame obama. no one had even close to a deal yesterday. you can always fill republicans because they are an intelligent. they banged on their stupidity and they will turn around and vote. host: thank you for the call. on a republican line, chris is on the phone. caller: that was a shocking call. i am sorry to hear the liberals fail so horribly -- feel so horribly about the "tebaggers." government does not work in government needs to be held accountable. government needs to be restrained. if anyone listen to mr. cockburn
this morning, i have never heard more reasonable sense being made since i started paying attention to what the government was doing in my 20's. it shocks me, that the immense and discussed that this woman -- the vehemence and disgust that this woman portrayed. i have yet to have a t party person say anything with such vehemence and hatred. i do not understand where that comes from. host: you conjoined the conversation online at twitter. one of those says -- alexander bolton has this story online. the delay could imperil the
chance of the legislation to pass to raise the debt limit by august 2nd. a senior gop aide estimated friday that leaders would have to reach a deal by 1:00 a.m. sunday morning in order to get it to the house by tuesday. leaders will have to rely on the goodwill of every member of the upper chamber to yield two unanimous consent to speed the legislation to that house. the senate vote today as early as 1:00 and the house and a pro forma session. next is george on the independent line. welcome to the conversation. trying one more time for george. caller: i have a request for the "washington journal."
someone who knows and can tell us everything that congress takes for itself as far as money. salary, stipends, the bowling alley -- how much did they take from us in taxes? there is no way that no one can know in their head so look it up. we should know how much congress is spending from us. my other thing, we know that congress gives them the support to give themselves the best health care in the country. that is equal to over $10,700 a year per congressperson. if that is not bad enough, when they lead congress, they get to take this health care with them and we have to continue paying for it.
we all pay into social security and medicare. they raise that and put that in the cash bucket? that is the same bucket that their entitlements come out of. they give it to themselves. everyone is talking about smaller government. once you see how they are enriched by our tax dollars, not one of them has stood up and said anything about cutting some of that out. host: amy kremer will be joining us and about half hour. we will also check and with the people from moveon.org. we will have live coverage of any briefings at will, on capitol hill or the white house. some of the comments from our viewers by e-mail.
jack joins us on the democrats aligned. seattle, washington. caller: thank you for having me. is 3:45 a.m. here on the coast. i want to thank c-span. it is the agony you provide us to come on and spout out our perspective of things. i thank you. i would like to say something about senator coburn's speech yesterday. it was remarkable. no one with common sense could not agree with him. that is what has to happen in washington.
we have to clean up the government, but not at the risk of the calamity we are at now. once again, i thank you, c-span, for all that you do. god bless america. host: on the republican line, richard is joining us in halifax. caller: i was just telling the young lady who put me on hold, and very deeply concerned about the country. we're justified in this manner. i wonder if we're going to descend in some kind of chaos. the rodney king riots in los angeles will be a drop in the bucket compared to what will happen if all of these checks are cut off. that troops are liable to start on the generals. but tea party people, it is a good thing that they have got the conversation on the table about cutting government. but it they believe in small government, what are they doing there to start with?
they are not going to step back and not get their paycheck, i am sure. they should be the first ones having their paychecks cut off. host: we will talk about that later in the program. debt defeat goes down to the wire. -- debt dispute goes down to the wire. the pair majority needed was needed. as you know, friday it went to the senate and failed to the senate. this back-and-forth over the weekend with negotiations continuing into the night last night, and that potential framework we are hearing this morning of the deal that would raise the limit by $1.4 trillion. from one of our viewers --
richard burr joins us -- edward, excuse me, from rochester, new york. the independent line. caller: i just want to talk about some facts here. in january, timothy geithner sent a letter to john boehner asking for a clean debt bowed and boehner reviews. in april, and these are facts here, if president obama signed his budget dealing with the deficit and a fall. his budget was set in april. that is a fact. it was denounced by the entire senate, 970 -- 97-0. a democratically controlled senate denounced president obama is budget. since harry reid and the democratically controlled senate have not yet passed a budget, there is not a been a budget that comes out of committee or dealing with this, in 830 days.
now president obama held a press conference saying that ronald reagan praised the budget 18 times during his time in office. is that correct, 18 times ronald reagan as for the debt ceiling to be increased. now obama says he wants to have the debt ceiling increase, but he wants to extend way beyond the elections, way beyond the 2012 elections, well, 18 times in eight years is probably every three or four months. i do not understand this. a child grows up watching sesame street should know that the president has not lead. he needs to resubmit his budget to the house for the senate. there is no plan on paper submitted to either house. all this stuff is coming down on
please turn down the volume on your set. are you with us? caller: i am turning it down. host: go ahead. caller: i am in business for myself. if i ran my business the way they run their government, honestly, i don't think a lot of people realize until all of this was on television and things like this. to see what kind of situation was going on, when senator covered -- i am a democrat but when he got up and said how much, 47 programs for one thing? isn't there somebody watching what is going on? i cannot believe this. i cannot believe our government has been so much in the last tender 15 years.
it is not just obama. he is trying the best that he can. he had to bring us out of something that was not even -- i do not even know how he brought our country out of what was going on before. yes, it is moving slow, but i do not think he holds all the cards. host: from the "chicago tribune." the deadline is tuesday, august 2nd. >> is spoken about the president and vice-president within the last hour. we are now fully engaged, the speaker and i, what the 1 percent in america at 307 million people that and sign a bill into law.
i'm confident optimistic that we will get an agreement in the very near future and resolve this crisis in the best interest of the american people. host: that compromise in the work and some we will have more details coming up. if brian joins us on the republican line from salt lake city, utah. actually we will go to james in mobile, alabama. caller: this is james. i am so upset with harry reid and policy and mitch mcconnell, too. i have been looking at this for days and days. m working in louisiana and i live in mobile. their compromise is a week. we need to have a balanced budget, i am serious. i really appreciate you putting me on. host: next is sue from pits filled, massachusetts. caller: i was watching the local
tv station and they said, whatever they do takoma -- whatever they do, the most likely affected are the elderly and the poor. i like to hear someone say exactly how we are going to be affected. i am on disability and i get $700 a month to live on. my mother is elderly. if we are going to be cut and affected, like someone to say exactly how we're going to be affected. if it is the elderly in the port that are going to be affected, i guess it is the same scenario, the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. if the elderly and poor get cut, i will not be able to afford prescriptions. i want someone to say how we are going to be cut. seems so unfair. very quickly, i call my senators
and representatives about this thing and they say, do not worry about it, it is a scare tactic. if this is a scare tactic, they are doing a really good job. host: thank you for that call. inside the "washington post." he tried to coax a grand bargain then he tried disappearing for a week to let congress figure it out. eager to hand the baton back to the president who they had
accused of failing to lead four weeks. good morning from asheville, ohio. caller: i was prompted by the lady that called just north of our lives. it is unbelievable to me. she talks about obama does not have a responsibility to make laws or to propose legislation. all along here, he doesn't necessarily passed laws, he signs things. but what has this plan been all along? it sounds like that when he is at the table, he keeps changing his ideas all the time. it is just another example of where we have not seen the leadership. we live in columbus and there have been at ton of people of money -- i ton of investment in columbus, ohio.
a ton of money has been dumped here. but there is no organization on it. i drive every day through the air force base where they are adding roads. they have been working for a year-and-a-half on a road that they have not opened yet. it is amazing how we can throw money at things in there is no organization. i'd think we see this consistent pattern from this leadership. now we are seeing harry reid not looking intelligent because it was the republican leader of the senate that had to get the white house to the table to get a deal going here. harry reid was making excuses on why they would not vote last night. host: let's review what is the essence of a potential compromise that continues to be in the worst between congressional leaders and the white house. -- in the works between congressional leaders and the
white house. one of our viewers saying -- scott joins us from tulsa, oklahoma. caller: i want to definitely think c-span for your coverage. i have been watching this all week. one of the things i think we have a problem with is that we try to think we are in a mom- and-pop store here. we are in and dance to
industrial economy. the mom-and-pop might have to balance their bush -- budget, but we of the world's reserve currency here. there's some very significant economic implications for this really narrow view about balancing the budget. there is a statement out signed by four ennoble laureate economists say that balancing the budget is a wrong idea. the balanced budget amendment, i should say. of course you want to balance the budget if you can, but we're talking about recessions and putting people to work. we had a one. % dismal rate of growth. one of the reasons was the fact that we have a lack of public spending. we have a lack of jobs. we have people that are being released from the government sector. the tea party is so anti- government, they hate this government. they have taken a pledge to grover norquist. not to the constitution, they want to amend the constitution.
this is insane. i hope, i hope, i hope that people will wake up and see on tuesday, we are in a world of hurt. the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. it is happening. thank you very much for c-span. host: from tommy -- during the course of this debate, there has been a history lesson on the u.s. constitution, and specifically the 14th amendment. it reads as follows. what does this mean? what specifically does the president have the authority to do? we checked and earlier with a professor of law at george washington university. we wanted him to come back with these latest negotiations. if they failed, what can the
president do under the 14th amendment? guest: the 14th amendment is difficult to interpret and there is controversy about what the president is entitled to do. there is an argument that the president might be able to ignore the debt ceiling altogether, as some have said, or insofar as necessary to borrow additional money to make payments on the existing debt. host: since 1960, the debt limit has been increased 78 times the bank 49 times under republican presidents and 29 times under democratic presidents. why is this one so different? in part because of the fiscal trajectory that is anticipated, or the debt has
increased by a lot in the sense that if something is not done, that increase will be for more debt. the republicans in particular see this as a last attempt or last weapon potentially to get off this trajectory. even the agreements, when you look at the house passing or the senate is considering, they don't differ too much on the long-term fiscal detect -- trajectory. a lot of this is a relatively minor, compared with the increase spending we can anticipate over the long term. host: if the president were to inject the 14th amendment, could be challenged in court? guest: it could be, perhaps, but there would be legal questions as to the standing of anyone to challenge it. it would not likely be resolved
before the overall issue was resolved. moreover, i think the president probably has a lot of other tools to avoid an actual default on the debt the size the 14th amendment. prioritizing payments so that the interest payments are made before other payments are made, so given there is a sense that perhaps he has the authority, perhaps not, he is unlikely to rely on it and more likely to rely on other tools, even as we have some kind of failure to reach a deal this weekend. host: a professor read george washington university, and you're with us earlier explaining the details. it is available on our website at c-span.org. from the "new york times," some optimism that the plan is now on the works. a deadline moment tailored for mitch mcconnell. these are some of the headlines
before tuesday's deadline has put forward by timothy geithner. joining us from philadelphia. caller: i really believe president obama can be a great president, but people in the far right and some republicans have not been trying to work with as president since he has been in office. they've been sitting on planning money and not trying to create jobs. this is designed to make him look extremely bad and get him out of office. a republican party, the bush administration, they stole tax payer money, iraqi money, everybody's money. and now we're in this crisis and they do not want to work with this president at all. since day one. i really feel that if he had some corroboration, he could put this country, at least another 30 or 40 years of greatness.
now they say there is no exception to the row. i love my country and i hope we have another 60 years, but the way they are going now, i really and truly do not know. i thank c-span for staying on as. thank you very much. host: you can continue the conversation on our twitter page and also facebook.com/cspan. this is what it looks like. brian joins us from salt lake city, utah. it looks like an agreement coming up this sunday. caller: these are the facts. obama has been sending $1.4 billion a day. it is not sustainable. it needs to stop. those of the facts. everybody out there needs to pull their heads out and use some common sense and stuff spending that money.
jeffery immelt is the jobs are, and he is taking jobs over to china. people, wake up, common sense, stops spending. gosh, it is terrible. host: from the "national review." by a margin of 76% to 19%, americans say that the u.s. economy is getting worse according to the gallup tracker. it is obama as the economy according to the commerce numbers, it is growing just 1.3%, maybe. senator tom coburn has been weighing in on this debate. he joined us last week on the "washington journal," and he had
this to say yesterday. >> when we salt -- one we call something a cut of $900 billion, but still $832 billion more than by what we are spending now, that is not a cut anywhere except in washington. we ought to admit it. if that is the best we can do, the american people need to know that is the best we can do. but we cannot play the game anymore. host: yesterday on the senate floor. ben joins us from tennessee. caller: they should of had this all ironed out months ago. they're just playing games up there in washington. obama is going to take a few more vacations, and they are just blowing the taxpayers' money, sending it to other countries. i am fed up with that. the whole outfit up there needs to be booted out.
thank you and have a nice day. host: from tallahassee, lorraine is on the phone. caller: this is my first time on c-span and i listen to you every day. can you hear me? the one thing i want that task, i watched this 24/7. nobody seems to respect president obama. we respected president bush and clinton, all the former presidents. but when it comes to obama, they say obama. we did not get into this -- we have been in this sense president bush. no one wants to work with obama. in my personal opinion, it is racist. they do not treat him like he is president of united states of america. we did not do this before president obama. host: from our twitter page --
not sure about that last point. closing down some of the cabinet agencies. from "politico." active negotiations with the white house on a debt deal. democrats agreeing to hold a vote later to give time for compromises. just hours before senator reid sparred with senator mcconnell over the seriousness of the effort, in a change of tone in tactics, reid suggested the real progress had been made. mcconnell said that he thought we would be able to come to some sort of agreement. from an arbor, mich., the democrats' line. caller: i had a comment about how they were talking last night about obama, that is because in
the last two years, the debt ceiling, the spending going on in washington. if you go back on youtube and look it up on their, you can see that in 1997 and 1998, sonny bono was talking about the republicans have the problem with the spending spree. why does it take this long to basically find out we have a spending problem? republicans have spending problems as well as democrats. you said this morning that the republicans have raised the ceiling how many times? compared to the democrats? my question is, basically, if you go back in history and look how many times they have raised the ceiling, and we have a spending problem. why can we fix it now -- why can we not fix it now? host: the ceiling has been raised on 78 different times.
79 times. "cq weelkkly"on michele bachman. here in washington, a look at her campaign. from the "washington post," the historical perspective. george herbert walker bush, the negotiations that he had defaced. also looking at the president and negotiations with people like eric cantor, senator reid, and john boehner. next is janice joining us here in washington, d.c., good morning. caller: i would agree with the last caller. that is the reason why i am an independent.
neither party is interested in fixing the problem that we have. we have a spending problem but we also have a revenue problem. the unemployment number is 9.2%. so many people out of work, it is common sense. and you do not have revenues coming in, so you cannot pay down the deficit. you need both. democrats do not want any entitlements cut, and the tea party people do not want any revenues increased. so there is no such thing as a compromise. boehner said last year, i believe, that he does not like the word compromise. he said that on tv. it is obvious that neither party is serious. that is the reason why you need to vote them all out, democrats and republicans, and start over.
host: who would you start over with? caller: moderate republicans, independents, and democrats that can come together and try to come up with solutions on how to create jobs and how to cut spending and increase revenue. that is my comment. host: benjamin applebaum has this inside the "new york times begs." a downgrade has a lot of downsize but they are minor to not raising the debt ceiling on time. the default remains worrisome. downgrades less of. this morning, a discussion with
a congressman who had been out of office for a number of years. the possibility of rick perry entering the race. >> who knows what rick perry passed efforts may produce? it was like he will get into the rise after the straw poll. it could be a wide open situation. there could be others that i have not mentioned that could do better than expected. >> how would you assess governor perry possibility to campaign effectively in iowa? what kind of iowa candid it might he be? >> remembered george w. bush, the governor of texas at the time, won both the straw poll and the iowa caucus and went on to be elected president of united states twice. being governor of a state like texas, very successful and economic development, and perry has a following of both economic
and social conservatives. he has the potential to appeal to a broad base of republican caucus goers. host: that conversation airs on "newsmakers" @ 10:00 a.m., right after this program. before we take a break again, this headline from the "washington post." the framework for the deal $1.4 trillion spending cut, but it would be joined by committee that will get additional spending cuts. amy kremer, the co-founder of tea party express, will be joining us and a few minutes. and later, moveon.org represented here at the table has "washington journal"
continues. ♪ >> if you're asking me to try to be direct with you about the political situation, i am not one to be predictable in terms of st. look forward is always right or the right is always wrong. i'll try to tell you what i honestly think and see if we can agree. we may have points of disagreement but i will try to give you my honest assessment of what is taking place. >> tonight, juan williams on the controversial comments that led to his firing from national public debt -- radio. his new book is "muzzled." >> mike term as fbi director is due to expire. early in may, the president
asked me if they would serve an additional two years. >> for the first time since the death of j. edgar hoover, congress approved and president obama signed into law legislation allowing robert muller to remain in his post an extra two years. congress limited terms to tenure after hoover led the fbi and its predecessor for 48 years. learn more online at the cisco vic -- c-span video library. it is washington your way. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, the national portrait gallery celebrates ronald reagan's 100th birthday. then a stanford university professor on the great migration when millions of african-americans moved out of the south. we will be in charleston, south carolina looking at the city's history including a halt on the role of the city during the american revolution. get the complete we can schedule
an c-span.org/history. >> with titles like "slander" and her latest "demonic," anne coulter has something to say. your chance to talk to her for 3 hour starting a new eastern alive on book tv on c-span2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome amy kremer, that chair and co- founder of tea party express. welcome back to c-span. guest: thank you for having me. host: i want to pick up where you just left off on fox. you said you do not want a deal, you want a solution. what solution to you think needs to happen in order to raise the debt limit and cut spending? guest: as i said on that interview, that debt ceiling
issue is a symptom of a bigger problem. the problem is the enormous amount of debt that we have. that is why these credit rating agencies are threatening to downgrade our credit ratings. we need to do something so we do not find yourself in this situation down the road. this out of control spending has to stop. i think a balanced budget amendment that would force washington to live within their means would help. host: how would deal with a situation like 9/11 or the war in iraq or afghanistan are terrorism? what if there is unforeseen event that would force government to spend more money than it takes an? guest: the legislation would have to be written to be including situations when we get like that. i am no expert on the u.s. economy so i want to put that disclaimer out there right now. but we are spending more than we're taking in and it is not sustainable. we cannot continue down this
path. when you have the medicare board of trustees coming out in the month of may and releasing a report that says, if medicare is not reformed in 2024, it will be bankrupt, it is irresponsible for washington not to do anything about their when you know you are facing this problem. we need to deal with that. we need to do some entitlement reform across the board. we cannot balance the u.s. budget by cutting discretionary spending. host: i realize that this is still coming together so the information continues to evolve. but based on what we hear this morning, it is a $1.4 trillion increase in the debt limit immediately.
based on misinformation, what is your reaction? guest: why are we in this situation? because congress has failed to do their job. they continue to kick the can down the road. i do not want to be a democrat versus republican thing. this is an american thing. it was only eight months ago that the democrats control both chambers of congress and the white house, and make punted the ball. that is completely irresponsible. the american people want this problem fixed. they do not care how with this fix. they want it fixed. they want these people to do their jobs. we want these mechanisms in place so we do not find ourselves in this situation quite sure years down the road. even 20 years down the road. we need to do something about it now. we did not get here overnight and we cannot change it overnight.
it this is the plan that comes out, there again, congress should be willing to deal with the problem in front of it and they should not punt the ball. host: it was president bush that inherited a surplus from president clinton. this coming from one of our viewers. everyone guest: says where was the tea party movement when president bush was in office? it is not someone click their heels together like dorothy and the tea party was formed. there were people upset and talking about maybe it is time for another american revolution or a boston tea party during the bush administration. that is when the out of control spending started. president bush and president obama have one common thread -- congress. and not do what they do without congress. you cannot blame it all on the president.
host: you rather see the government default or pass some sort of debt limit? guest: first of all, i think that is all day. we were told it was coming in may and then we were told august 2nd, and thursday or friday, maybe there is some room for august 9 or 10th. we have enough revenue to service our debt and pay some of these entitlement programs and still have a little bit of money coming over. that comes from a bipartisan commission report released last month. i do not think that august 2nd we're going to default. it's not the threat of default but the enormous size of our debt. no, i do not think we will default under debt -- to fall on our debt and i do not want us to. the freshman standing firm, it is not that they want to see the fall. they want to see -- deal with this massive problem. host: the me go back to the
balanced budget amendment. when someone buys a home for to $1,000 a year and they cannot pay up front, they take out a 30-year long. under the balanced budget amendment, can congress take out loans to invest and understructure or can it only spend what it takes an? guest: we have to look at the overall big picture. there are going to be times -- you can only spend more than you make for so long and it catches up to you and that is what is happening right now the bank there going to be situations, i imagine, with the federal government has to take out loans and borrow money. but this has been going on for years and years and years. and you cannot continue to do this. if we do not get our fiscal house in order, get our credit -- that our creditors will take control and do it for us. i am not sure that we want that. host: we of gone from a trillion
dollar debt to $14 trillion, but is there good debt for the government? someone argues that student loans and mortgages are good debt, and bad debt would be loans for vacations or fancy cars. guest: i do not think any debt is good. it is probably a more acceptable form of debt. but again, i say that there are probably going to be instances, but the problem is when it becomes everything that you -- when you have so much debt that it is overwhelming to everything else, when you have more debt if you can pay. and that is where we find ourselves now. host: the republican line with amy kremer, the co-founder of tea party express. caller: i think both sides to come to a compromise because if they do not, they will put this
country into a big chaos. right now i amend new york, rallying my state senators and my state assemblyman to try to put letters or call up the people in the parties and try to tell them, because this country as big. i am disabled combat veteran. i am on the entitlement programs. we have put our lives out for our country and now our country has to put their cells up for us and to get this house in order. not only on the republican side and the democratic side, but the independents sometimes are holding the country hostage and they should not be. what they should do is compromise. remember, the election is around
the corner. if they make this country default, the people will be aggravated and will definitely show it at the polls. host: that is the headline from the "boston globe." guest: people are already frustrated, absolutely frustrated. this is a huge problem and as i say, is a problem that has to be dealt with. but this is the thing, americans do not want a deal, they want a solution. this is the problem. we do not want to be greece. who would of thought that the united states of america would be on the process of bankruptcy? that is upsurge. -- that is absurd. they are more concerned with staying on the d.c. cocktail circuit in their own power and control than they are taking the
right steps and making tough decisions. no one wants to make the tough decisions. it is time to man up and do the right thing for this country. host: a comment from one of our viewers. wired t party supporters so adamant against any kind of tax increase even from wealthy americans? guest: i can i give you the specific figure, but wealthy americans pay the majority of taxes already in this country. we cannot bring them, we cannot tax enough to solve this problem. you have got to cut spending. and the bottom line is, by asking for tax increases, it is asking to spend more. it is not cutting spending. host: what if you let the bush tax cuts expired, reverting to the tax cut of the clinton era? guest: i do not believe that we
need to raise taxes. he only taxes i would say they should look at our closing corporate tax loopholes, that enabled ge and other big corporations not to pay any taxes in this country. host: but even brought -- but for her norquist says that as a tax increase. guest: i do not speak for it grover norquist. but i do not believe that we should raise taxes. we do not have a revenue problem. we have a spending problem. host: devi joins us from the democrats' line. you are on the air. caller: the first thing they got in there, put that bush tax cuts in there, and that was money was borrowed, and we are paying the interest on it. and yet they want to reduce the
budget. why would they want to do that? guest: the bush tax cuts were extended during the last congress, with president obama and the democratic-controlled house and senate. it was not the tea party movement or the tea party freshman that pushed for that. but i do not think that we can bring in enough revenue by doing a tax increase. that is not our problem. the problem is spending. host: from the "atlanta journal- constitution." let me ask you about that tea party in all of this. speaker boehner, does he have control of his caucus and what role does the tea party have on the series of votes and the laying of votes that we saw last weekend the house -- last week in the house? guest: it is the tea party movement that is driving this debate. if it were not for this movement, that would have
already handed president obama a blank check and raise the debt ceiling and gone on to the next thing. it to party is forcing this debate. i feel for speaker boehner. he is in a difficult situation. he is absolutely in a difficult situation, but we have not put him there. it is prior congresses that have put in there. as i said, the people that have not been willing to make the tough decisions are the ones that have put this in the situation. i do not think you can blame this on the tea party movement. host: kathleen parker in the "washington post." fragging is intentionally killing or wounding a superior officer. she mentions a number of people
including some of your colleagues from the two-party patriots and elected officials like michele bachmann, jim jordan, and the south carolina senator jim demint. guest: they are holding the line for fiscal responsibility. they are saying that we cannot as -- continue to spend more than we make. that is the bottom line. many people are saying that. they're people across this country, when states are facing the same issues, and the same obstacles, so i do not have a problem with what they are doing. i think senator demint and michele bachmann and jim jordan are doing the right thing. they are holding the line and saying we have to rein in spending. host: from cleveland, ohio on the independent line. caller: i have a couple of quick questions. are they planning to put a cap on raising the payments to the
congressman and senators? they should be it -- they should put a cap on that so they do not get raises. the last two years they got raises, cost of living, and the social security people were denied cost-of-living raises. maybe you can answer that if you are aware of it. second of all, all of these senators and congressmen, they read the constitution when they were elected, and hopefully they took them words to heart for the american people and they will do what is right. those are my questions and i will take your answers. host: amy kremer. guest: i don't know what cost- of-living increases are salary increases they have given themselves. i know that they have given
themselves some kind of raise over the past couple of years. i realize that our seniors have not received a cost of living increase in a while. i think it is unfortunate and it absolutely should not be that way. host: from the "l.a. times." these headlines courtesy of the newsuem. drawing this back into individual households, one of our viewers -- it goes back to the issue of taxes or additional revenue. guest: they also cut their spending. not everyone takes on a second job. the main thing is to cut the spending. host: how did you personally get involved in all of this? guest: i am a former flight attendant and i was concerned about the direction of the country. the other control spending.
so i started lobbying and through twitter became acquainted with other conservatives. of the 22 of us, after rent -- rex and tele -- rick santelli at his ranch, we formed the tea party express. we are partnered with cnn to host the first presidential debate in september. we have not remain completely neutral and by project on bayh's for the purposes of the debate. -- we have remained completely neutral and unbiased for the purposes of the debate. we're waiting after the debate and we want to see the cream rise to the top. it was at constitutional conservatives that had the ideas and solutions to fix this crisis we are and in turn this country back around from this economic collapse that we're
headed towards? that is what we are waiting to decide. i think that we will see somebody, and honestly, i do not think all the players around the field yet. i do not think so. do you think so? host: from cape canaveral, florida. the republican line. caller: i want to shift the focus away from our representative government to our people. i think we have some real challenges for the electorate. i think every american should be willing to pay taxes, and we have roughly 50% that are not. and people should be prepared to bear arms and serve their country. and every american needs to be educated about the issues that face the country and we have roughly 40% dropout rate and our high schools. if that is our electorate, you would get the problems that you
have today. people vote for government that they are not willing to pay for. whether it is medicare, where senior citizens are in my family, they take out $2.50 for every dollar that they put in, when that occurs in every generation across the electorate, the problem is almost a tractable. the issues are with our own people. if we corrected are made progress on those issues, we will have better representatives and what have people willing to make sacrifices. it is easy to slam the president and speaker boehner, the majority leader, but at the end of the day, we have americans that go to the ballot boxes that do not pay taxes, are not willing to, and have never serve their country. and we get what we ultimately vote for. host: thank you. guest: i have to say, the electorate is uneducated. there is a small percentage of
people they really pay attention to what is going on. but this the first time in american history that people have been so engaged in the political process. this movement is all about education, educating people on these issues to empower them. so many times people go to the polls and vote by name recognition or the letter next to somebody's name, and that is what we need to stop. we need to get away from politics and let people vote on the issues. when someone walks into a ballot box, they should know where they stand on the issues. you should have two columns there with the issues and no candidates. that is what we need to move towards and get away from party politics. host: a number of analysis pieces from the associated press available on-line at ap.org. people are disgusted, confidence is tanking, nothing is getting
done in washington, the markets are spooked, the global reputation of the united states has lived, and this raging effort to shrink the debt may increase the debt. in the emergency deal that not -- that might not prevent the major credit -- credit agencies from downgrading the debt, that could increase the cost of borrowing for everyone. guest: i have read the same thing. we are in a pickle. there is no doubt about it. what are we going to do to get out of it? host: tampa, florida, the democrats' line, with amy kremer. caller: i heart you. i have a very heavy right hand. i have six sentences. of leslie obama was voted in and then he disrespected the people and our loss. the progressive party is about
to die. everything they have done the last 100 years will be altered. that is all that i have to say. host: did you want to respond? guest: we need to get away from party politics. we need to look at this big issue of controlling this debt. it is not about the social issues but the fiscal issues. that is what all americans are focused on right now. host: we have seen a series of change elections, 2010, the republicans win back control of the house of representatives. are we in a series of change elections because of the economy, because of the country, or the mood of the electorate? guest: i hope so. our objective is to take back the white house and senate. i believe in most of the people
involved in this movement believed that the democrats' plan is to tax and spend. that is what they want to do, tax-and-spend. we cannot go down the road. we need to rein in our spending and not raise taxes. the only way to stop that is to select a conservative congress. that is the purpose of the tea party movement, not to bring republicans to washington but to bring conservatives to washington. host: melissa says -- and at the front page of the "washington post" has the president as a player. does blame fall among all of them or is it just the president? guest: all of them. i said at the top of the show that you cannot blame the president. and you cannot blame, obviously, this congress. you have to go back to last congress and the congress before. we did not get here overnight and we will not change it
overnight. it is our federal government, that is the problem. host: from north carolina, the head. -- go ahead. caller: you need to take this all the way back to bill clinton when he signs nafta. i see thousands and thousands of jobs leaving this country and going to other countries. and then also watch the illegal immigrants, and and taking the construction jobs. people said that they were taking jobs that people would not do. and you know, it has been at downhill battle ever since. and i am in the construction industry, and i've been on all of these jobs around here, nbc crew after crew of the illegals and they are taking our jobs and not paying taxes and not buying
houses. they live in them but they are not buying them. when you raise the ceiling, 60 or 70 times they have done in, they need to see what it is going to do. guest: illegal immigration is definitely a problem that we have in this country. i do not know the answer to it. i think the first thing we have to do to deal with that issue is to shut down our borders. secure our borders. they are obviously not secured right now. that is probably another issue that congress is going to have to deal with. but it is on the back burner now until the debt ceiling and the size of our debt is addressed. host: joseph says this --
how do you respond to that? guest: i absolutely disagree with that. medicare effectively ended as we know it with the passage of obamacare. they took money from medicare, reallocated to medicaid, with the passage of obamacare in order to grow that welfare class, the middle-class americans that will be on medicaid. in addition, we had a baby boomers entering the medicare rolls on the average of 10,000 a day. those numbers do not add up. and of the medicare board of trustees saying we have to do something about it. the commercial with granny going over the cliff. that is absolutely not true. we need to fix this so that social security and medicare will be there for our seniors,
absolutely will be there. we need to take care of our seniors. they have counted on was their whole life. they have paid into these programs and it is irresponsible for us not to do anything about it. host: another view from our twitter page. you can join the conversation there. guest: we do need jobs. i do not even know the numbers of americans that are out of jobs right now. but again, jobs seem to be the secondary issue. this is what is driving washington right now, this debt ceiling. the size of our debt, that is all that washington is talking about. this city is abuzz this weekend. it is really hot but everyone is in town because this is the issue they want to deal with. then they will be a going home
and on recess and come back and it is not too long before we go in the campaign mode. i would like to know the answer. what are they going to do about it? i think that we need to be dealing with jobs. host: 14 million out of work and the official unemployment rate is 9.2%. from the republican line. caller: i am a radio talk-show host. an african-american. host: what radio station in cincinnati? caller: wzbv. we are streaming online. i often hear a lot of my callers saying, the tea party as racist. nonsense, i say, they are not. the reason i say this is because first of all, it is true. secondly, it is a way to demonize it. i remember the tea party as a
response to the obamacare . we had democratic-run congress under nancy pelosi. after congress, if you recall, they were very impolite. that is how part of the tea party got started. in the other part is, where the tea party members before president obama came on the scene? well, when we had our deficits, it was bad enough. now we have large deficits in trillions. when you hear people saying that we need to raise taxes on the rich, if you raise an extra $70 billion but you're spending a rate of $1.2 trillion, that is the same ratio of spending $70 to pay down $1,200. it will not go very far. this concept of taxing the rich and the oil companies and getting rid of loopholes, if you
tax everyone, if you will not raise enough money to pay for this wild spending that we are on. host: thank you for the call and thank you for the plug. we will check you out in cincinnati. guest: he is absolutely right. health care galvanize this movement and it did so because health care is personal. there's nothing more personal than health care. they call us everything in the book. they have called a racist, and now they're calling us terrorist. why? because they want to marginalizes. we are a threat to the left agenda, to the tax-and-spend agenda. we are standing in the way of them spending more and so they want to marginalize us. if not, they would not be attacking us. host: from our twitter line. guest: you know, you're taking
money from medicare and reallocating it to other programs. as i said, you had a baby boomers entering medicare on average of 10,000 a day. the numbers do not add up. host: let me share with you a story from "national journal." this story was posted yesterday, and he writes that there was something striking about the 22 house republicans who voted against their own speaker pauses deficit reduction plan. five of them were firm south carolina. does this have anything to do with senator jim demint, a tea party favored? guest: senator demint is a great hero. he is a true fiscal conservative. it is a very red state. that is what their people want. i am not surprised and a discreet to say that south
carolina dentist -- that south carolina delegation stand up for fiscal responsibility. host: from illinois, are democrats line. caller: the people that are going to be hurt by this are the poor. and the elderly. let's take a step back for a moment. we have had two wars, and that is part of the discussion. there is no debate that we have to control some spending. but we have also have to look at what has caused a great deal of the spending, the two wars, amy. the entitlement programs, those things can be worked out. we can increase the age and go over a litmus test, and income- based test for social security. but the war? iraq had nothing to do it. that is what caused a great deal barack had -- nothing to do with it. that is what caused a great deal
of spending. you look at spending, it is not the tax-and-spend thing that republicans capitulates so easy. but when you talk about education, we feel like that we are empowered to talk about it is more than looking at the news and listening to the sound bites. it is understanding how economics works. it is very complex, but if you do not have a balanced approach in terms of raising revenue, and i like what the caller said from ohio, you can increase the tax base by adding more people pay taxes, i agree with that. but the argument that you do not need more revenue is this ingenious. the project is disingenuous. you need a balanced program. do not put people out of jobs. people are now working, they are not going to pay taxes to increase the amount of money coming in. this notion that it can be one- sided will hurt all lot of old
people. we have to enlighten ourselves, amy. but i like some of the issues that the tea party is talking about. but it is more complex than you articulate it. please be more knowledgeable about it. guest: he has a good point. if we put people back to work, they will be paying taxes. that is more revenue for our federal government. i cannot deny that the wars have cost this country an enormous amount of money. but we do not get into a foreign-policy and go into those issues. we do not. that is when we all -- we are never going to all agree on that. i cannot deny it has cost us an enormous amount of money. it is an issue. host: a lot of opinions on our twitter page, including this. we will go to mary from goshen,
indiana. welcome to the program. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am 64 years old, now retired yet. one comment i like to make, i thought social security was in its own fund, that it would be a solid fund. my father was on welfare many years ago. way back in the depression. they call the wpa back then. there is something to be said about working to get a paycheck. there are too many people that are third, fourth generation on welfare, and not really because of their own fault, but now they do not know how to get a job. they do not know how to work. and there is a satisfaction of getting a paycheck. way back in the 1960's when a president retired, he did not get the kind of money that he is. our congressmen did not get the paychecks and benefits that they get. would we have as many running
for congress if they did not get the benefits, lifetime benefits? no one gets lifetime benefits anymore. host: we had an earlier caller that suggested we might do a program to determine just what members of congress receive in terms of salary, benefits. the gym, travel expenses, and the like. guest: they are very well taken care of, no denying it. we heard back when we were having the debate over obamacare, why don't they pass through the same type of health care for us that they get? it is obamacare so good, why don't they go on it themselves? there is no denying that there are very well set up. but going back to the people that are less fortunate, lower income americans, i am all for
helping people when they fall down on their luck and they need that safety net. i absolutely think that we should do that. the problem is when it becomes a handout and it becomes their career. and they have no incentive to go out and get a job and contribute to their community. that is the problem. i am all for people getting the help that they need when they fall down on their luck, but not being on welfare as a career. we cannot sustain that. host: everything that we read about the tea party, a disparate group, a broad coalition members. how many tea party organizations are there nationally? do you have any idea how many members there are? guest: i have no idea how many members there are. many people have a label, but it is truly a grass-roots movement. there groups that do not include the tea party name and there are
probably 10 national organizations, medium to large size, and how many individual groups across the country? i have no idea. host: to land on the republican line. -- joann. caller: thank you for having me. i live in a local county, and our government has to consolidate, give up jobs, eliminate positions, to get our budget under control. i think all counties across america are doing the same thing. i do not hear that going on in washington. when we were told we were having this, why do we need them? we need to be a little more basic in government and cut back. i want my roads fixed, i want my park to look nice, i want the
things that keep our community going, and i think washington needs to do the same thing. there are many things in different situations, but the answer is we need to consolidate departments or branches of government, to cutbacks, jobs that are unnecessary, things that are unnecessary. maybe that would help. guest: i agree with her. i think we need to get rid of the department of education and send it back to the states. no reason that the federal government should be involved in decisions between states and parents and their children's education. what works and alaska may not work in georgia. that is a big department that we could get rid of. we could get rid of a lot of bureaucracy in the money allocated to the states. it would directly benefit our children.
host: amy kremer, chairman of the tea party express. one of the 22 people that started the movement. thank you for being with us. a story online at "national journal" on what we have been talking about. let's bring you up to date of the outline of a debt compromise beginning to emerge. the president rejecting the deal, forcing congress to deal with other pieces of legislation is options that fell through as the week unfolded. among the newest wrinkles, according to informed sources, an agreement to extend the current debt ceiling very briefly to give the legislative process time to work out some of the measures, but in essence, it
is a $2.8 trillion decrease in the debt limit. a congressional super committee must report on precise spending cuts by thanksgiving. another $1.40 trillion to $1.80 trillion in spending could they go on. if the committee fails or congress does not pass some of these budget cuts, then the across-the-board cuts would go into effect and could touch medicare and defense spending. again, more on that from major garrett at nationaljournal.com. our next guest is the governor of iowa. iowa for many years has been first in the nation with presidential caucuses. the question -- will idle of the first again in 2012? >> this is yet another cycle in which iowa's stature of kicking
off the election season is under siege. more than -- several states are considering moving their caucuses earlier in the year. can you guarantee that the iowa caucuses will be held in 2012? >> 2012 or 2011 -- >> that is what i mean. >> it will be held and it will be first, and i think both parties agree on that. we did not want to lose our status, and both republicans and democrats in iowa are strongly committed to maintaining that position. if we have to move our caucus up as we did four years ago, we are certainly ready and willing to do that. host: i will oppose the governor, part of c-span's " newsmakers" program, available with all of our programming at c-span that board -- at c- span.org. later, with talk about the
impact the debt talks will have on u.s. consumers and whether or not faltering on the dead could raise interest rates. all of that coming up in just a moment. first, a look at some of the leading ivins as viewed by editorial cartoonists and around the country -- a look at some of the leading events as viewed by editorial cartoonists around the country.
on the weekends, you can see our signature interview programs. on saturdays, "the communicators," and on sundays, "newsmakers," "q&a" and prime minister's questions from the house of commons. you can also watch any time at c-span.org. c-span -- washington your way. a public service created by america's cable companies. "washington journal" continues. host: joining us from new york is the executive director of groupon.org. appreciate your time this sunday morning. >> thank you for having me. host: let's begin with the story we have been focusing on all morning, the possible agreement between the white house and congressional democrats and republicans on raising the debt limit before tuesday. major garrett has been following the story online at nationaljournal.com. no new tax revenue would be
part of these negotiations. your reaction? guest: our 5 million members have been clear on this. a huge reason we have the deficit we have is because of tax cuts that were never paid for. the notion that we can deal with the deficit without asking the wealthiest -- millionaires, corporations, ceo's who made out like bandits in this recovery -- to pay 1 cent more to help us get through the crisis -- just does not hold water. it is incredibly disturbing to hear that that is where the deal is heading. >> -- host: many republicans say those tax increases will cost jobs, and that is the main concern of the u.s. economy, creating jobs will create more tax revenue across the board. guest: i think if you look at the historical record, that argument is always made, and it just does not hold water.
there were actually tax increases used to balance the budget during the 1990's, the greatest time of growth we have seen in recent years. the last decade has been the case in point for the failed experiment of trickle-down economics. we have these massive tax cuts, the first decade in half a century where we saw no net job growth. i just think it does not make sense. the bottom line is we have -- the richest 400 people in this country make an average of $395 million every year, and their effective tax rate is about 16%. they pay less in taxes than the great majority of americans. it does not make sense. we're going to cut medicare, the people's health care, and we are laying off teachers, but we will not ask people who make $400 million a year to pay 1 cent more? it just does not hold water. host: this morning's, "the
washington examiner" -- are democrats to blame for where we are they? guest: i do not think that is the case. the fundamental dynamic of what is happening now is that in order to please the tea party base of the republican party, they are literally holding our whole economy hostage and threatening to basically put a knife in our economy in order to protect tax cuts for millionaires and corporations and to win big cuts in vital services. that is almost without precedent in our history. it is an unbelievable outcome. the one thing that i think we
need to fall democrats for is not calling them out more forcefully, accepting the premise that in order to raise the debt ceiling, which was done seven times under president bush, 18 times under president reagan, that we are going to accept the notion that we need to make cuts that cannot make any sense in the middle of an economic downturn. that is how we got into this mess, i think. host: look at the president's 50th birthday, which takes place this week. i mention that because a lot of stories this morning about how the president handled the situation, including this one, also in the "washington post." can you answer that? guest: where the president will draw the line? host: yes. guest: i certainly do not know. we have tried to be really clear with the white house and members of congress.
the thing that i hear when i talk to moveon members -- will have about 5 million members scattered in every corner of the country, anything i hear is that what we really need right now is jobs, not cuts. there is this bizarre -- washington is like this is our parallel world right now where the only thing that matters is cutting the long-term deficit. meanwhile, the rest of the country, jobs is overwhelmingly the top concern. people are trying to figure out if they are going to lose their jobs, how to find work here young folks are graduating off a cliff into an economy that has no jobs for them. in the long run, that is how you deal with the deficit, get the economy moving. a big part of the reason we have these huge short-term deficits right now is because of the economic downturn. i think that our members look at the debate in washington right now and think it is completely bizarre and out of touch with the rest -- is where the rest of america is at. that is what we tried to communicate to the white house
and the president. i hope democrats will not allow the economy to be held hostage, but the news this morning does not look great. it is disturbing to see where this looks like it is heading. >> did you support the president in his efforts in 2008? >> yes, our members were hugely supportive of the president. we had about 1 million members who hit the streets for the president, and i think we are among the millions of people who've were really an unusual social movement that came together to elect the president. >> where are you and your supporters moving into 2012? >> i think our members are right now -- the election is over a year and a half away. over two years away, rather. sorry, the election is far enough away that our members are focused on the debt ceiling, the
crisis we are in now. our members still support the president. they are disappointed in many respects with some of the decisions he has made, but i think right now -- what i hear from talking to our members is that this crisis is really an acid test. we need to see what happens and whether the president ultimately will stick up for the values that folks -- that he articulated in his race and that i think really inspire people to support him. i do not hear members talking about supporting someone else. again, the election is a long way away, but the question i have is whether people will be motivated to come out in the heat in august and arizona and to knock on doors in the cold in minnesota in november. those are the things that actually helped elect the president and in the first place. people who were just incredibly passionate.
i think that is going to take that fashion for him to get reelected. people do not feel like he is fighting every day for their interest, that is what concerns me. >> -- host: we will get to your calls and, just a minute. our guest is the executive director of moveon.org. in the "new york times," right tilt, traded your reaction -- trying to get your reaction. republicans have changed the terms of the national debate.
your reaction to that. guest: i think there is a huge amount of truth to that. as i said, our members think there is this strange disconnect between the debate happening in washington and the real concerns that they and folks in their communities are facing all around the country. part of what i see democrats and the president doing right now is they are not willing to talk about anything on the economy that they do not think there is some way the republicans are going to agree to. when we have a situation where the republican party has because
of their tea party base moved so far to the right that they are dramatically out of step with the american people, they are pushing for cuts that would have a terrible impact, probably push us right back into recession. they are completely unwilling to embrace the measures that would be necessary to get the economy moving again. what do you do in that situation? democrats need to be willing to articulate what actually is necessary to get the economy moving, to create jobs, to deal with the problems people are facing, rescue the state's from the fiscal crisis they are in, and make the case to the american people and let the voters choose, but that is not what we have seen the president doing. i think -- there's no question that our members feel like either party in washington right now is speaking to the debt of the economic crisis that our communities face. host: on our twitter page, one of our viewers saying -- all
cuts or all revenue? we cannot do both? from the "washington post" this morning -- a vote is expected at 1:00 eastern time. live coverage on the c-span networks. good morning, caller. caller: thank you. you have to give me a few minutes because i called earlier to talk to the tea party lady, and i got disconnected. i am a democrat, a moveon member. i am looking at my paycheck. my paycheck was $3,200 this week. it is 30%, excluding my health care, that came out. with the rich people -- these folks, they do not have statistics.
they just come up with numbers. they calculate which folks based on your geographic location. these tea party folks, based on an average income of $40,000 and more, right? they contributed half, back to the deficit. i am paper said some of my paycheck in taxes. my health care is not included. how can we get these guys that do not like government to pay their fair share? average folks that make $54,000 -- he was calling folks from the democratic party to pay $75,000.10 to give all the tea party folks and get these guys to contribute their paycheck.
i will contribute, but i'm not contributing nothing to obama because he does not stand for me and he does not stand for nothing i stand for. i'm not doing it. and i am black. host: thanks for the call. thanks for checking in the second time. starr referred disconnecting the first time. your response. guest: thank you. if you are a moveon member, that means i work for you. america is not broke. we hear that all the time that the country is broke. but america is not broke. our government is broke right now because of two wars and a tax cut that we never paid for and it prescription drug benefit sweetheart deal for the pharmaceutical companies that we never paid for. the question is how to get everyone to pay their fair
share. everyone paid their fair share, we could afford to invest in job growth, in our communities. right now, we have -- households making $1 million a year or more pay on average about 23% in taxes -- 40 years ago, they were paying 43% in taxes. they were paying -- they are paying less than you and less than me and not nearly enough to actually make the country work, and yet, they are turning around saying that we are broke, so we have to cut medicare and social security and education and lay off teachers and cops and first responders. it just makes absolutely no sense. it is a crime. host: john in north carolina saying how about another trillion-dollar stimulus, to borrow more money from ourselves and give it to special interests. how do you respond to that sentiment? do you think the stimulus program put forward by the president was effective? guest: i definitely do not want
to borrow $1 trillion and give it to special interests. i agree with that. we need smart investments in our economy to get it moving again. we need to invest in infrastructure. our infrastructure has been neglected over the past 20 years. we have bridge is falling down, tumbling roads. we need investments in the internet and the high-speed infrastructure that can help businesses grow. i think that is absolutely right, and we can do this in ways that can boost the economy in the short term. the basic problem right now is we have corporations sitting on more money than ever. record profits. they are not investing it because there's no demand because folks do not have money in their pockets to buy stuff. that is a trap that we need to get out of. i think the stimulus was not big enough. too much of it was not in tax cuts that are not an efficient way to get the economy to grow, and one of the things that was
under appreciated about a was a big part of what was doing was helping prevent local governments from laying people off. the stimulus gets far less credit than it deserves. actually did help create and protect jobs, but we need more and more targeted efforts right now to actually create jobs. the ideas you hear being talked about right now -- people are talking about, "what about a corporate tax holiday?" all of these corporations are off shoring hundreds of billions of dollars because they have to pay taxes to bring it back to the u.s. we will let them bring it back at 5 cents on the dollar, and maybe they'll use it to create jobs. they are already sitting on literally billions of dollars in profits that they are not spending. or another payroll tax cut. again, same problem. i do not see how that will create jobs in corporations are already making record profits
and not investing. we have to look at -- this is the reality. we have to look at real measures to stimulate the economy, and this is a crucial point -- part of the reason that we have the deficits we have is because the economy has slowed so much and is still not going anywhere close to what is needed to even keep up with the growth of the population. if we want to deal with the deficit, you have to get the economy moving again. if you cut spending right now, then what that does is at a time when businesses are shrinking back, if the government does the same thing, it is a vicious negative cycle, and it will actually extend this economic downturn, and it makes the deficits bigger because we do not have the tax revenues to keep up with government obligations. host: a debt deal rises, but the crisis is unresolved. next call is joe from sacramento. republican line. good morning. caller: hi, yeah, this is a
useful conversation we are having. you just mentioned all the government employees that the stimulus money saved. never a liberal says the word infrastructure, make no mistake about it, they are talking about unsustainable union jobs for the most part. let me tell you where i'm coming from this morning. i just -- i want to know if we the people are still in control of our government. i'm comparing this to if the military leaders when they decided, "you know what, mr. obama? you do not know what you're doing. we're going to maintain the current troop levels because we disagree with you and we are not going to do what you say." that is what the politicians and government bureaucracy are saying to we the people. if we had a little more balance
press in this country, we would have more people -- who knows? maybe some journalists -- screaming from the mountaintops, this is like a coup. we're losing control of our government. if we could just get off of our backs, this economy could recover. thank you very much. host: thank you, joe. justin? guest: i'm sure we disagree on many issues, but on that score point, we really agree. i do think our government is not listening to the people right now. if you look at the debates happening in washington, the vast majority of american people think jobs are more important than the deficit, that we need to deal with the deficit absolutely in the long run, but we have to create jobs. second, the way to deal with the deficit, that most people agree on, is we need to make corporations and the rich to have been making out like bandits actually pay their fair share. everybody needs to pay their
fair share, and also, we need to cut defense spending and wind down the wars in order to be able to afford our priorities here at home. those are the things that are most popular among the american people, and neither of those is on the table in washington. the combination of the incredible job the tea party actually did do in having an impact in the last elections and within the republican party and the fact that we have this flood of unlimited large donor money now dominating our political system are two of the reasons that washington is kind of dramatically out of touch -- with where most of us are at. host: one of our viewers saying, "everybody paying their fair share, but does that include those pay no federal income tax and that amounts to about 47% of
americans not paying federal income tax." guest: the crucial thing is you need to look at all the taxes. everybody does need to pay their fair share in this country absolutely. but if you look at sales taxes, you look at payroll taxes, everybody in this country is paying taxes, and the thing that is crucial is the taxes on the rich and taxes on millionaires, taxes on ceo's have come down dramatically. you have hedge fund managers who make most of their income, who are making hundreds of millions of dollars, and most of that income is coming in capital gains, and they're paying a lower tax rate on their capital gains in their administrative assistant is making the -- is paying on the $30,000 or $40,000 a year that they are making. that does not resemble anything that i was taught is there. guest: this is an e-mail from
bill in california, and it is rather long, so let me try to paraphrase. your response to bill's comment in california. guest: i think there is a tremendous amount of truth to that. thank you, bill. just to talk about social security for a second, social security did not cause our deficit, and we do need to work to make social security solvent over the long term, but the reason it is being dragged into these debates about our short and medium-term deficit is because there's a contingent of folks who wanted to cut social
security since it basically came into being during the new deal and have always looked to get a -- to gut it. it is absolutely true that people paid payroll taxes on all their income, then we would be able to solve the problem. i have folks in my family who are living off social security, and it is not much. it is really difficult to live off. within this washington bubble, there's this idea that benefits are somehow unsustainable. benefits are too low. if the goal is to allow the bill to retire with dignity in a system where they pay in through their worked and then can retire at the end of a long life of work with dignity, then we need to raise those benefits, particularly with folks at the lowest end of the spectrum. certainly we cannot cut them. but we could actually do that everybody pays payroll taxes on all their income. >> next -- host: next is rose up from shelby, north carolina. caller: good morning.
this is my first time calling in. i have tried, but the lines are always busy. i want to bring up something the gentleman said. he made the statement that they wanted to make sure nothing gets done because they want obama out of office. i have heard the statement made several times before, and it really disappoints me that this is, i think, the main objective going on right now. jobs is the issue right now. so many people are out of work. the country is hurting. all i hear is, you know, that we have got to take more from them. they did not want any of the rich to pay any more, and they do not want any of the entitlements to go away. i myself am on social security disability. not by choice. i worked all my life, and it is really upsetting.
they denigrate the president from day one, and if it was a republican president, i did not think the key party or the republican side would be doing what they are doing right now, holding this economy hostage just to get what they want, and they are not willing to compromise. it is just upsetting. host: thank you, rosa. guest: i really agree. it is incredibly upsetting. again, the hostage taking that is happening right now, threatening to throw the whole american economy over a cliff if they do not get these vicious cuts to vital programs, but absolute protection an extension of tax breaks for millionaires and ceo's. you have to wonder what makes them so willing to do that? given the it is even of concern
to the business base that runs their party. one reasonable explanation is they think that even if they do this that ultimately, the president will get the blame for the bad economy because most people still do not know what a debt ceiling is or follow politics in a way that i think people who watch this program probably do. if you are just trying to understand how a republicans are acting right now -- in some ways, the simplest explanation is that they do not care about the country. i am talking about republicans in congress, not all the republicans out in america. just that they did not care about the country, and all they care about is destroying the presidency, and that is an unbelievably dangerous development. i cannot say what is going on in their heads, but that is the best explanation i have seen for their behavior. host: if you look at the numbers and point out that we saw huge debt increases under republicans, what we have seen over the last three years with
the projected deficit this year of $1 trillion every year under the obama administration -- is that kind of spending sustainable? that is with the tea party is saying, that we cannot continue to spend that kind of money. >> -- guest: no, it is not sustainable, and nobody thinks it is, but if you want to deal with it, you have to look at where it came from. it came from two wars that we never paid for. it came from a huge batch of tax cuts that we never paid for. it came from a prescription drug benefit that was a sweetheart deal for the pharmaceutical companies. unlike every other country in the world, we are not allowed to bargain with pharmaceutical companies. we just have to pay whatever they choose to charge the government. it is unbelievable. the only reason you can explain it is you just want to make the pharmaceutical company's rich, which is what has happened. finally, we had this economic downturn that was caused by the deregulation of our financial
sector, and then the financial sector drove the economy over a cliff. what follows from that is that to deal with the deficit, you have to do a couple of things. one, you have to wind down the wars. we cannot afford to have a military -- i mean, just reducing our defense budget to what it was when president bush took office would make a huge dent in dealing with the deficit. two, you have to restructure how we pay for health care. it is totally unsustainable. but cutting benefits is not the way to do it and will not even help that much. ultimately, we have to stop paying twice as much for health care as every other industrialized country. 3, we have to make everybody pay their fair share, which is not happening now. if they do, it goes a long way towards solving the deficit. and finally, and this is crucial -- you have to get the economy moving again. if we keep the economy in the shins, which is what this debate is doing, what the last budget did, and what budget cuts in the middle of a crisis do, which is
what we're doing by allowing our states and municipalities to lay off cops and teachers and the folks who make our government run for us -- if we do all of that, it just makes it harder to deal with the deficit because we end up with what japan had in the 1990's and a decade of slow growth, and we cannot afford that. host: our guest is the executive director of moveon.org. we're monitoring the situation in washington and news from cnn where senator mitch mcconnell is appearing live right now. he did say again that the u.s. will not default on its debt, and he said the chief negotiators, according to cnn, are very close to a deal between the president and congressional republicans and democrats. the senate is in at noon today. 1:00 expected for the first vote. last night's vote and this morning's vote at 1:00 a.m., which was put off because of the negotiations that continued into the night and today.
expect at some point also to your from the president, depending on how things unfold, and we will have all of this during the course of the day here on c-span. back to your calls. maria joins us from wyoming. republican line. good morning. caller: i have a few quick comments to make. i hope you will let me get through them before cutting me off. i would appreciate your first of all, i keep hearing about people taxing the oil companies. the government would get out of the way and these environmentalists and let the oil companies go out and do what they do best by producing something, think of the income the government could receive by recovering taxes from them. second of all, i am so tired of liberals talking about paying their fair share. how about this -- why don't we just let everybody earn a
paycheck, send it right to the government, and let them spend an exactly how they want to and give us the pittance that they desire us to have? third, because they are talking about making to make the government work and become fiscally sound again -- it is built into the system that every year the amount of money the government spends increases by 7.5%. the cuts they are talking about making are in that increase every year. $32 billion out of 7.5% on top of $1.20 trillion is ridiculous. finally, i have one question -- can somebody explain to me how it is that the government says that it cost them money not to
take money out of my pocket? host: we will get a response. thanks for the call. did you want to respond? guest: well, thank you for calling. i do not totally understand the last question, i'm sorry. but let me respond to some of the other pieces of what you said. with regard to oil companies, the interesting thing is right now, the oil companies are unbelievably profitable. they are making billions of dollars in profits every quarter, but we actually subsidize them. so they are taking money out of your pocket and out of my pocket, and then they are handing over bp and exxon and other oil companies, which just pisses me off.
second, it does not make any sense because we know that the economy of the future, ultimately, we need to move to cleaner technology. in fact, that is a way we could actually grow our economy and make a world leader again, by investing in wind and solar and hydro and all kinds of renewable energy sources that do not hurt the planet and that create more jobs at home because the reality is as much drilling as we will ever do here, most of the oil comes from the middle east, and we are subsidizing dictatorships and making the world more unstable and undermining our security. ultimately, we need to move to a clean energy economy, yet at the same time, we are giving hundreds of millions -- billions of dollars to oil companies. it does not make any sense to
me. beanbag host: our guest is just an rubin, executive director of moveon.org. lots of debate on the senate floor yesterday, including the comments from senator from kentucky. >> americans do not like and the partisanship. democrats are standing up and beating their chests saying republicans will not let them have a vote. it is not true. you have seen the objection before your eyes. they will not vote on this. let's dispense with and the partisanship here let's move forward and have a vote. they will let us have one amendment, an amendment that would gradually balance the budget over seven or eight years, i will vote for the proposal ensure enough votes that it will pass. host: your response to senator paul. guest: what is the amendment he is talking about? the balanced budget amendment? host: yes. guest: i think there's
definitely a whole lot of and the partisanship going on in washington right now. on that, i definitely agree with senator paul. what is unbelievable about what i see happening right now is that democrats have literally put multiple republican proposals on the table. the president set out and said he would cut social security and medicare, two programs the, is the democratic party has been about anything, it has been about protecting social security and later, medicare, programs the middle class pays into an absolutely depend on. the president said he would cut that unilaterally, make that offer. and then, leader reid puts a proposal on the table that someone on twitter or e-mail pointed out earlier it is just
cuts, cuts that meet the republican standard that we need to make a cut for every dollar we increase the debt ceiling. and, you know, cuts that frankly will have a significant impact on our community. no revenue at all. cut important programs, not as corporations and millionaires to pay one single cent more, even if they -- even after they have got a huge tax cuts, and republicans basically will not even talk about that proposal. i do think there's a tremendous amount of and the partisanship happening. i think the balanced budget amendment is worth talking about for a second because it sounds great, right? like we should balance our budget, right? in the long run, absolutely, we need to control our deficit. the thing that is incredibly dangerous about the balanced budget amendment -- there are two things that everybody needs to know. this is a wolf in sheep's
clothing. the first thing is that you can think of that as they turn recessions and depressions amendment. what it does is it says the unless congress jumps through extraordinary hoops, when we have an economic downturn, which is exactly the moment that you need to -- the government needs to step in and help the economy along, and also things like unemployment claims go up, and food stamps go up -- that is the moment that the government has to cut back. tax receipts are going down. that deepens and prolongs economic downturns. if we have had a balanced budget amendment in 2008, we would have seen -- things would be far worse than they are right now. dramatically worse. the second thing about the balanced budget amendment that you need to know is that it no
family could buy a house or very few families to buy a house because they could never borrow a cent, right? very few businesses would be able to get off the ground a few said they could never borrow a single cent. investing in the future is a crucial thing that all american families that are lucky enough to have access to loans or capital or business lucky enough to have access to loans or capital that everybody does, but there are some things that are public investments that we have to pay for together. things like roads. things like the internet, that help our economy grow. that have done so over time. things like basic research and development, the apollo project created so many benefits for this country in terms of fostering a whole technology boom. those things would have been impossible with the balanced budget amendment. the economy grows and tax receipts grow over time, and that is why we are able to pay at all. this is a very simple idea that
sounds good but is really dangerous. the other thing is that they stop in is something else -- they sstucik in -- they stuck in it something else, the government spending cannot be more than 7% gdp. that is nuts. that would force far deeper cuts than the right and budget, the republican budget that many of us have been incredibly critical appeared the only way to do that would be to eliminate all of medicare entirely or all of the -- just cut the entire department of defense. we do need to get deficits under control, but the balanced budget amendment is essentially -- think of it as a "turn america into a devastated third world country" amendment year that is basically what it would do. >> one dealer says the
government our last call is david from ohio. host: good morning. i think it takes 3/4 of states to do the constitutional amendment they are talking about. i want to say i think we are in a depression, and if we phrase it that way -- what did roosevelt did during the last depression? with republicans blame roosevelt for borrowing the country, what it seemed like, into debt? i wanted to speak of us some of the things he did like all the public works programs host: -- public works programs. host: thanks. guest: roosevelt is a really good historical example for us to look at. he was willing to take extraordinary measures to save the economy, and it seems like
the president may need to do that soon. second, because, as you said, at a moment when unemployment was really, really high, the government stepped in and put people to work. that is always an option, and it needs to be on the table right now. not in the long run, but in the short run, it is a way to get the economy moving, and we should be looking at that. the third thing that is interesting about roosevelt, who did many wonderful things, including social security, financial regulations that were put in place that we are dismantling led to the downturn, to the crisis we just had in 2008. lots of really important things, but there is something that people did not talk about much -- when roosevelt came into office and the first iteration of the new deal happen, there was a moment sort of like this one with a was a lot of austerity hysteria.
we need to cut government spending, all this stuff, so after that first round of the new deal in the mid-30's, -- the mid-1930's, they cut back, and unemployment shot up again, and the economy took another downturn, and the prolonged depression, and is that -- it is exactly the kind of thing we see happening now. but those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. this is a piece of our history that nobody wants to talk about now. host: executive director of moveon.org joining us from new york. thanks for being with us. a headline this morning from the "washington post," a scramble for a deal. mitch mcconnell appearing this morning saying, "we are close to a deal." raising the debt limit means raising the legal limit that the u.s. can borrow by the federal government, and includes social security and medicare benefits, military salaries as well as interest on the national debt, tax refunds, etc.
the deadline, as we have been hearing is tuesday. we'll hear more during the course of the morning and in the afternoon when the senate convenes. will talk about the impact all of this could potentially have if the u.s. defaults on its debt, the impact on interest rates and bond holders, as we continue the "washington journal" for this sunday, july 31. >> if you are asking me to try to be direct about the political situation, i will not be predictable in saying that the left is always right or the right is always wrong or right. i will try to tell you what i think. we may have points of disagreement, but i will try to give you my honest assessment of what is taking place. > tonight, fox news' juan
williams on the controversial comments that led to his firing and the current debates in washington. >> my term as fbi director is due to expire later this summer. the president asked if i would be willing to serve an additional two years. >> for the first time since the death of j. edgar hoover in 1972, congress approved and president obama son into law legislation allowing the fbi chief to remain in his post after two years. congress limited terms to 10 years after hoover left the fbi. one more online at the c-span video library. search, watch, click, share. it is washington your way. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, the national portrait gallery celebrates ronald reagan pose a
100th birthday. then, a stanford university professor on the great migration when millions of african americans moved out of the south. we will be in charleston, south carolina, as we look at the city's history, including a talk on the role of the city during the revolution. get the complete schedule and at c-span.org/history -- c-span.org get the complete schedule at -- get the complete schedule at c- span.org/history. >> sunday, august 7, your chance to talk to the "new york times" best-selling author, a ann coulter for three hours. >> "washington journal" continues. >> and economics reporter with the "new york times" joins us now. thank you for joining us. we should point out that from what we have been hearing from
the speaker of the house and from senator mitch mcconnell that there will be some sort of an agreement to raise the debt limit by tuesday, but if that does not happen, what impact would that have on u.s. consumers? guest: it could have all sorts of effects. everything from making it harder to buy a house to making it harder to make car payments, to maybe actually boosting their retirement savings if they are in savings accounts or in treasuries, for that matter. there is a huge range of effects that could come because either the united states defaults on its debt, which is a very unlikely outcome, or even if we get downgraded and investors start charging higher interest rates. host: in one of the many stories you have posted for the "new york times," you point out that in 1979, the u.s. and congress was debating raising the debt limit to $830 billion.
guest: those were the good old days, right? host: we are now at $14.30 trillion. guest: there have been countless showdowns over the debt limit. to my knowledge, none of them has occurred in an economic situation quite as precarious as this one. that is, a situation where there was 9.3% unemployment, a very lackluster recovery, and as sort of thing, but this is not entirely unprecedented in that respect. in the past, there have been discussions about under what conditions the united states should -- or congress should be raising the debt limit as well as what we are discussing today, what kinds of spending cuts or tax increases, although that seems to be ruled out, should go along with any increase in the debt limit. in the past, there have been concerns about a default, but to my knowledge, none of them were quite as crisis-prone as the
discussions going on right now. host: what impact does this have on municipalities and states, if any? guest: it could have a serious impact for several reasons. one is that state and local governments depend heavily on federal funds to keep their cash flow going. if there is a problem where the united states has some kind of selective default on its debt, that is its stops paying at least some of its bills, there could be huge interruptions to the payments that go out to the states. the states themselves are already in a very delicate situation in that they are dealing with their own budget crises, and as a result, they are having a lot of problems keeping the funds flowing as it is. on the one hand, you could have problems with interactive projects, infrastructure projects, unemployment benefits or whatever, all sorts of things administered by the states but
that rely on federal funds. on the other hand, and much more serious consequence, is that should there be some sort of financial crisis that erupts from all of this, that what had a huge impact across the economy. when i say a financial crisis, i mean people start to get worried about whether the united states government is able to pay its debt. as i mentioned before, interest rates will go up because of people do not trust a bar work, they say they're going to make it more expensive to borrow, and there are countless interest rates across the economy through all sorts of different financial markets that are pegged to the cost of borrowing for long-term treasuries. that is what i was getting at before when i was saying that the cost of a mortgage could go up. because of a car loan could go up. student loans. all sorts of things. what happens is if interest rates go up for the federal government, that sort of has this reverberating effect where everybody else starts raising interest rates, and that freezes
up credit markets. that freezes up the economy, and could have the potentially dire consequence of plunging us back into recession, which, of course, is good for no one. >> our guest is katherine -- catherine rampell, a graduate of princeton university, worked for the "washington post," now works for "new york times." you spend some time in china. >> we owe china a large amount, and they know this, and i think they are getting very concerned about what's going on within the united states and our ability -- as i said, i think it is unlikely that we would actually default on our debt payments. there is a larger likely that, given where things are going, that we might not be able to pay some of our other bills, but i think united states will try to put off a default on interest payments to our creditors and basically all costs.
that said, even if we continue to pay our interest payments to our creditors like china, if people start to get very worried in the long run about what -- about the dollar, that will cause people to start dumping dollars and making the value of the dollar fall. that hurts us, but it also hurts china because it means all this money they have stalked away in dollars, it is not what was, but it is not nearly as valuable, and they are in the delicate situation of wondering if they should continue to invest in u.s. currency, which has lots of nice effects for the united states, or try to put money
elsewhere where it is safer? the world so interconnected. global financial markets are so interconnected that whatever we do this week has huge consequences globally. host: there is a story posted on line with the headline -- "need the debt plan protects the nation's aaa credit rating -- neither debt plan." the story points out that neither plan being put forth could provide the credence that they think would be possible among democrats and republicans to keep the aaa rating. there's the point that moody's is confident it will not have to downgrade the nation's reading because of defaults. it did make and that the long- term debt and deficit problems will continue to weigh on the aaa mark. guest: right.
the main problem facing the united states is our health care commitments. health care costs are spiralling out of control. we also have an aging population. people consume more health-care costs, which is true across the developed world, but it is especially true in the united states, for whatever reason, and you can credit it to multiple different factors. united states spends much more per capita on health care than other countries, even countries with all the populations. so that is a huge concern, right? we have not really done much to try to bend the cost curve, to .se obama's phrasing one of the primary goals, in the minds of these credit ratings agencies and presumably other investors that rely on them, is that we should be able to get that trajectory of spending
commitments under control. unfortunately, if you look at what congress has been talking about in terms of how to get or how to manage these fiscal austerity measures, they have basically ruled out entitlement reform. they are mostly talking about discretionary spending. to some extent, that means military. to some extent, that means education or infrastructure or whatever else. so i think that to credibly tell the world that we are tackling our fiscal concerns, that would require going -- taking a stab at some of this much more politically sensitive issues. i think that is what s&p, moody's, and fitch are expressing concern about. they are saying, "you probably are not going to default. you're talking about some
austerity measures, but you are sort of looking at the wrong areas." also, the magnitude of the cuts are at least not what s&p said they were looking for. s&p said they wanted $4 trillion of cuts over the next decade, and needed the boehner plan or the -- neither the boehner plant nor the reid plan addresses that. .
fault of their own. now, if the private family was mandated to increase their family by one person every week, they could not maintain their budget without increasing their income. so how can the federal government be expected to maintain a balanced budget when their family is growing three million to four million people every year? host: thank you, james. the debate over practices. guest: when we talk about the united states and what would that mean for a household, we have expectations for consistent growth long term, that is something that the united states generally has been able to count
on. that's one way in which the country has been able to, essentially, continue borrowing more -- it is actually spending more than it takes in. there is an expectation that the country will grow enough in the future that that will look dwsh hook tax revenues and be able to pay off the money we borrow in the past. the fact we have taken in so many immigrants has been good for our economy for a lot of reasons. not just because many of the immigrants coming into the country, undocumented or otherwise, are working and being productive members of society. and reasonable people can agree with whether they are supposed to be here or not and whether that is good for the economy or not, but in terms of the budget crisis they have been good because we have an aging population. a much larger share of
native-born americans today are not working than what the case -- than was the case in decades past. so social security, as you probably know, worked by having today's workers essentially pay yesterday's workers to keep them getting a steady income, essentially, a pension. one way the social security has been able to stay stay solvept is because we have this influx of younger imgrents -- immigrants who are paying into security and are picking up the -- into social security and are picking up the slack of this shift where you have a lot more native americans not working. because of the baby boom, the baby that -- babies that replaced them is much smaller. in that way, having a lot of immigration has been good for
our nation's finances by being able to keep social security solvent. >> your work is available online at new yorktimes.com. let me ask you about those who have money in the stock market. based on the uncertainty that we have been seeing, what recommendations have you been seeing from financial experts? keep it in? take it out? >> i would say because there is so much uncertainty, not only about what the outcome of these debt talks would be, but what the implications of those outcomes are, and the multiple permutations of what could happen to the economy, it is hard to have a strict and reliable financial plan. for example, if interest rates go up, if they go up a little bit, that can actually be good for people who are retired or
who are approaching retirement because if they have their money in savings accounts, that means they are getting more in terms of interest on their savings. of of course, fp interest rates go up way too much and that causes another recession, then it is sort of self-defeating and it doesn't help very much. so, again, you know, depending on what your expectation rs for the quenses of a downgrade, default, whatever, and depending what your expectations are for how the markets react, that has a very different implication. host: gene is joining us on the washington democrats line. good morning. caller: good morning. with all this debate and with all this rang ling between the two houses, i've mentioned this before, and other people have brought this up, and i don't understand -- i followed this
throughout my life. i'm 76. i've watched them and congress even at midnight raise their wages up to as high as 50%. not once have i heard anything about rolling back. they want the people to step up and do their fair share, but i haven't heard anything about them rolling back their wages back to, say, the 1980's, which would create a pothole of money that they could put back into the national debt. >> we'll get a response. guest: he's talking about rolling back congressmen's
wages. you know, i think this matters more symbolically rather than economically. yes, it is frustrating to see congress giving itself a raise when there has been so much wage stagnation in the united states. for that reason there have been a number of years where congress has decided not to give itself a raise, which has all sorts of other effects which are not quite desirable, for example, judicial salaries are sort of tied to salaries across the federal government or other sort of senior positions. so judges are not getting raises either, and federal judges have been very upset about that. but that said, symbolcally, i think it is important in terms of how much money that would free up. it is not going to solve our budget problems. it's just not. it would be nice to think that congress shares in both the successes and failures of the american populous and american
workers, and for that matter, maybe there is an argument to be said for tying their wages in some respect or their pennings to the state of the economy. but that seems very unlikely. and in any case, like i said, even if you did that, even if you had all congress working for nothing, it is not going to produce trillions trillions of dollars. host: you can weigh in on this conversation on our site at facebook. facebook.com/cspan. can you also spend us a tweet at cspan.com. >> i would like to ask if anyone knows how long these ponds are issued for, because i don't see the debt falls on a 10-year problem as being presented by
the democrats. it is a 40-year problem like a morton your house. borrowing a dollar on your house does not give you a dollar owed. it means you will pay probably three times that much just like buying your morton your home. another thing i would like to point out, social security is not an entitlement. congress passed a law they would take the money out of your pay, your employer would match it, and you would get that money back later. that's money you paid taxes on. now they want you to pay taxes on your social security, and if you're retired, like i'm about to be in six months, any money i make on my meager capital gains, they want me to pay extra money on my capital agains. are you hearing all these people calling in saying they are k-401's are tanking bhaws of all the taxes they are having to pay. >> any response? >> well, we can talk about a few issues that were brought up here, including the entitlements
question. that's really a matter of semantics. the way that the social security system works and all sorts of other entitlements, that's a technical term people use, is that people pay and get out money later. but the amount of money they get out later is not necessarily exact amount that they take when they were having money deducted, payroll taxes deducted in the past. because suddenly that would not be able to work. then you would have a defined contribution plan as opposed to a defined benefits plan. because of inplace -- inflation and all sorts of other things, and the increase in most workers wages, not everybody's wages, it is just not a one-to-one ratio and that was president put in, you get out.
you get out what effectively people who are contemporaneous with you, when you are retired, are putting in. if we were talking about just taking out what you put in, again, and you probably wouldn't demeed the government to manage it. you could have a 401-k. i think there are semantic issues here. there are accounting issues here, and so on. the second question was -- >> the second question was what people are getting in terms of their benefits. this goes into a tweet we got as well. "seniors and the disabled only received a 3.2% c.o. l.a. total over three years. food is up at least 20%." how do you deal with that disparity? guest: food is based on all -- it is not just base on food or
housing. if we were basing the cost-of-living adjustment on housing alone, then seniors would be rich, right? effectively because housing costs have dropped a lot. so they should maybe be getting less now. soed idea is to see what prices are doing economy-wise. what a typical am would be for the typical american household. so if you are just looking at one component, that's a bit misleading. you can also argue about well maybe the balance, the waiting of all of these different types of pricing -- the weighting of these different types of pricing is not fair and maybe there should be more weight given to food and less weight to housing
or electronics or other areas that are falling. but, you know, is -- 100% of a senior's budget is not food. seniors consume a lot of other goods and services besides that. it is not really fair to look at one particular component, even if that might be the most salient component because people are noticing the changing in prices. host: and the final point, the impact and the issue of bond holders. if the u.s. does not raise the debt ceiling, where does the money come from? who does the u.s. pay first? is it the bondholders? guest: that's very unclear. treasury said earlier this week, they were not sure they had the authority to determine how to prioritize payments. it is not clear if they will start paying bills as they become due. whether they are the most important.
it's not clear. i think that for financial reasons, it is important to not prior dies paying back bond holders, why should we be paying bondholders and not our troops in afghanistan or our impoverished seniors or whatever? it sounds like there is sort of a moral value implicit in making those choices. i think probably what economists are worried about, in any case, is that if you don't pay back the bond holders immediately, it has all these ripple effects in that it freezes up markets across the cannot trip, it freezes up markets across the world. people start dumping bonds and other assets that they have, and it could plunge us back into resession. so even if popularly, morally it
sounds like, well, why should we pay back investors before we pay back poor people, the longer term quenses of prioritizing basically noninterest paints over -- non-interest payments over interest pamentse payments could be devastating. host: good morning. caller: good morning. i'll be real quick. i'm questioning section 4 of the 14th amendment in regard to the validity of public debt. this debt that we have is real. it was created by the congress. it was passed by the congress. it says it has to be paid off. so all these politicians, representatives and so forth, they are supposed to be doing this, and if they are not doing this, or if it goes into default, scaring the hell out of
everybody, isn't it mall feasans of office where they are not upholding the constitution which they swore to uphold? host: "the validity of the public debt authorized by law including payment of debt -- por payment of pensions shall not be questioned." guest: i am not a constitutional scholar, so i cannot comment with any authority on any of those issues. i can tell you what the president has said. the president has basically said that he has consulted can his in-house attorney and they are not persuaded by the 14th amendment argument, and that obama has the authority to just say forget it, i don't need permission. congress has authorized these payments. why are they now saying we can't pay them?
that said, i don't have information to know whether or not obama really means that. to some extent, it could mean that he would look like he was not negotiating in good faith if he really had this 14th amendment card he could pull out of his back pocket and say, you know what? i don't like you -- like what you are doing and i'm going to raise it on my own. who knows. a lot of constitutional attorneys have weighed in and said obama has this power. others have said no, obama does not have this power. ultimately whether he decides to use is it, that is anybody's guess. >> democrat's line. good morning. >> thank you for taking my call. obviously most people here watching your program know that the debt ceiling needs to be raised.
this is just my thoughts on it. it is just two tier. one is how to take care of the spending cuts and how to increase revenue. if we over a 16-year period, say that's the time period, and then we had four quarters in each period making four years per each quarter, we could do a 10% spending cut just through technology and fast streaming items in the government. l we will have 40% tax cuts. i think we can deal with that. the second thing is a revenue string, where the republicans wouldn't argue. any corporation, eble, same thing, over the course of 15 years, break it down into
quarters, there is a 10% tax on the employees of the corporations that have the employees overseas. it would increase then the following quarter or the next four years to 20%, then et following -- then the following 30%, then the following 40%. if that wouldn't get jobs back into this country. none of the rich would be taxed. we would have a revenue strain. i want to know what you think about my proposal. host: thank you. guest: i think this are a lot of proposals out there. some of them really smart, some of them less smamplet -- smart. it is hard to know what all these effects will have. in the example of the caller's suggestion of tacking corporations based on their
employees overseas, i think the concern would be, maybe we'll just drive these companies out of the united states to begin with. if they are already seeing cause to invest overseas and they don't want incur additional costs for those investments because they think they are profitable, maybe they will leave the united states to begin with. everything has drawbacks. most of the economists i have talked to about these issues have basically said, there are a lot of essentially savings we can get by making the tax code more efficient because there are so many loopholes, because the internal revenue code and the statutes relating to taxation are so unbeliefably complicated and long. these are dozens of thousands of pagesline long. this are dozens of pages that can be mined simply by smoothing that out, by making things more
uniform, actually lowering statchtri tax rates but broadening the base. effectively brink bringing in more taxes because companies are not able to sort of mine the tax code for whatever fortuitous loopholes there might be in them. there are a lot of things the government can do. there are a lot of interesting proposals on the table. my few -- view is that our budget problems, our deficit problems, are not the fault of a deficit in ingenuity, it is a deficit of political will. every year they put out a book that says all the potential revenue spendings congress could take up to change the money we're taking in and putting out
each year and exactly, or at least an estimate of dactly how effective each of those would be, whether it is raising a tax rate or getting rid of the department of education, or other sort of bombastic ideas like that. they do put out this massive guide saying here are the different options available to you, so everybody knows what the general options are. potentially, this gentleman's suggestion for taxing workers overseas may be part of the c.b.o.'s annual project. i don't know. but the problem is, they are all so very controversial. and so painful for the most part in the short run, politicians are unable to endorse any of them. >> how are you today, sir? >> please go ahead. we're short on time.
>> ok. i want to say that i think there is a problem with the debt negotiation. that is that the congress is not going to do any revenues because they don't want to sabotage the big businesses that are helping them stay in political office. it is easier for them to discuss entitlements because that deals with the middle income and the poor. they are not going to cut the rates of people that help them stay? office. >> thanks for the call, leo. do you want to respond? guest: sure.
whoever has influence in washington has always been a concern. whether it is because they are donating money or spending money on lobbying or whatever. that said, in terms of the entitlement issue, i would say congress is paying relatively little attention to those concerns, even though health care entitlements are really the biggest concern i would say for our deficit going forward. that's because even though they do not have numbers behind them, they do vote. older people voted much more
often than younger people, even more than middle-aged people. if you start talking louder about the social security benefits, whatever, that have been promised to older voters, that's also very dangerous to older politicians. we actually followed this in representative ryan's plan to address this long-term entitlements plan, but actually his proposals did not affect anybody over the age of 55. there was some cutoff like that. all of the painful cuts really came in to people who are younger today and most likely to vote him out of office. host: we appreciate your taking
our calls. please come back again. guest: thank you. host: the norks are playing out -- negotiations are playing out on the sunday morning programs. let's bring you up to speed on what's been happening. david plum appearing on "meet the press" saying we don't have a deal between the president and congress but added that negotiations continue. he said the president remains adamant that the nation's debt must be extended into 2013 after the nation's elections. we expect aid vote this morning on the senate floor, but that changed as norks continued to -- negotiations continued to heat up between the white house and senate. >> there are many elements to be finalized. there is still a distance to go. i believe we should give everyone as much room as possible to do their work. i spoke to the white house quite a few times this evening. they have asked me to give everyone as much time as
possible to reach an agreement if one can be reached. for that reason, we will hold over the vote until tomorrow at noon to give them more time to talk. in fact, welcome in at noon and have the vote at 1:00. i'm glad to see this move toward cooperation and compromise. i hope it bears fruit. we hope to have a long-term approach rather than a short-term band aid. there can be no short-term agreement if it means no short-term arrangement whatsoever. i am confident both parties should be able to reach an agreement. i believe we should give them time to do so. host: the senate will be in at 1:00 eastern. the house of representatives in early this afternoon in what is essentially a pro forma session.
meanwhile, on the state of the union, mitch mcconnell saying we are close to nailing down an agreement that would defer the default of the nation's debt agreements. chuck shumer saying there is no final agreement. yesterday this from senator mitch mcconnell who is playing a key role in these talks. >> in the category of getting serious, i have spoken to both the president and vice president. we are fully engaged, the speaker and i, one of p the people who can sign a bill into law. i am confident we will resolve this crisis in the best interest of the american people. >> the comments of senator mitch mccouncil pointing out that there are no tack increases under the package. here are the headlines. "it is a 1.4 trillio